Removing French nationality: the slippery slope

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President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls are forging ahead with plans to strip French nationality from anyone with dual nationality who commits terrorist acts against the country. This is despite strong opposition from many on the Left, including senior figures in the ruling Socialist Party. Here Mediapart's editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel argues that in following this path the socialist government is removing traditional political and historical reference points from its supporters. In particular, he says, the authorities have forgotten the warnings set out in philosopher Hannah Arendt's masterpiece 'The Origins of Totalitarianism'.

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Faced with the unanimity of protests from all democrats attached to our great Republican values, from all defenders of the rule of law and all human rights activists, panic is taking hold among the sorcerers apprentices in the offices of the president and the prime minister who have chosen to play with this explosive issue: that of the right to nationality. The numerous factual errors made by those in government who advocate the stripping of French nationality from dual nationals who commit acts of terrorism against France - Prime Minister Manuel Valls had to correct his Facebook entry on the issue – is testament to that. As is the way that the Belgian media and German politicians have been able to pick holes in Valls' attempts to use those countries' policies on dual nationality to bolster his own plans.